Are Tankless RV Water Heaters Worth It?

Thinking of adding a tankless water heater to your rig? Check out the video above to see if they actually work.

Image Caption: Image: James Adinaro

In recent years, tankless water heaters have become a popular feature for new RV models and a popular upgrade for existing rigs. That’s because these devices promise on-demand hot water, removing the long wait that often comes with a standard water heater. But do these units actually work? The video above provides a definitive answer, with plenty of insights into the benefits and drawbacks of having one in your RV.

A tankless water heater uses a gas or electric heat exchanger to warm up the water as it flows through the device. This eliminates the need to first fill a storage tank before starting the warming process, which in turn reduces the wait time dramatically. This process also conserves water, as you’re not letting as much of it run down the drain while you wait for it to heat up. Additionally, these types of water heaters tend to be more energy-efficient than standard models, although they are also pricier and aren’t as efficient at handling multiple flows, although that is rarely an issue in an RV.

In the video, Camping World Product Expert Ian Baker puts a tankless RV water heater through its paces. Ian hooks up a travel trailer directly to city water and connects a drainage hose to the gray tank to keep water continually flowing. He then turns on the hot water and uses a set of digital thermometers—usually used for cooking meat—to see just how quickly the tankless water heater provides hot water. The experiment is a simple one that demonstrates the effectiveness of adding such a device to your rig.

tankless RV water heater

Photo Credit: Eccotemp

So, how does the tankless water heater fare? You’ll have to watch the video to find out. But be warned: The hosts go through a series of mishaps before finally getting the device working properly. Those mishaps make for a good checklist of things to watch out for when using a similar unit in your RV, so it isn’t all in vain. In the end, though, you’ll get a clear sense of how these units perform, including how fast they warm up and how much hot water they provide before cooling down.

If, after watching the clip, you’re interested in adding a tankless water heater to your vehicle, visit the Camping World website to find out what the retailer has in stock. You just might be surprised at how affordable these devices actually are and how easy it is to add one to your rig.

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